- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2020

As the Republicans prepare their presentations for their virtual convention this week, expect the usual fulminating about liberals, progressives, socialists and — at least regarding foreign policy — Communists, too.

It’s par for the discourse during our nation’s contentious presidential election year.

Still, there’s one issue where it’s unlikely that President Trump, Vice President Pence or any of the others who fill our screens in the coming days will be able to relay their insightful commentary — and that issue is crime.

Not a week has passed since the May death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police officers that protesters haven’t wreaked havoc on city streets, public gathering spaces and suburban neighborhoods in D.C. and across the nation.

Big cities like Portland and Seattle, smaller places which youthful Americans (and adults, too) can’t even point to on a map — all are plagued by rising violence these days. And our political leaders say they have things under control.

Yeah, right.

Guess that’s why on in the wee hours of Monday morning, Portland police had to don riot gear to protect themselves from paint guns, bottles of glass and rocks, as a mob gathered to attack a police station.

And what’s going in Chicago, where bloodshed and sundry violent acts of violence have taken such a horrifying and deadly daily toll? Well, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has taken to blaming Mississippi.

Ms. Lightfoot’s words, not mine: “Sixty percent of the illegal guns that come into Chicago every year are from out of state, from Indiana, from Mississippi, from other states that have lax gun laws.”

A few select words from this grandmother, courtesy of Fred Rogers, co-creator “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”: When you get really angry, take four deep breaths before speaking. You might then actually choose the right words for the moment.

Chicago has been mismanaged and pushed around by Democrats for generations, and their latter-day inattention to bloodletting and destruction is revealing a deeper truth. Take this weekend as but the most recent example: At least 66 people were shot Chicago, including five who were mortally wounded. The gun didn’t say whether it came from Indiana, Mississippi or any other state. The gunmen did all the speaking.

Republicans would be making a big mistake if all they do is stage a pep rally for President Trump and beat up on the Democrats.

Republicans need to offer what the Democrats last week didn’t offer, and couldn’t offer because they would end up blaming themselves. That, Dear Readers, would be to focus on guns and guns rights instead of the right to live in peace, to protect oneself and one’s family, property and community.

The president should use this week to inform America that enough is enough. Precisely because Black lives really and truly matter, Americans, together, must end the genocide.

That message will surely rile the Democrats — and for good reason.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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